Latin Collab By: james Galante, Kyle Haase, Kevin HeneGHan, Sebastian PosIllico, Brendan Fitzgerald, Joe TheodORou

Ara Pacis

"Altar of the Augustan Peace"

This shrine consists of a marble altar in a walled enclosure erected in Rome’s Campus Martius in honor of the emperor Augustus and dedicated on Jan 30,9 BC

The dedication was recorded in Ovid’s Fasti in his Res Gestae Divi Augusti

The building of the structure was commissioned in 13 BC to commemorate the return of Augustus from Gaul, where he spent three years evaluating the administration of the provinces

The Senate wanted it built in the Curia, but Augustus wanted it placed near his mausoleum in Campus Martius

Ara Pacis

Res Gestae Divi Augusti

“Achievements of the Divine Augustus”

An Autobiographical funerary inscription detailing Augustus’ life and achievements, was completed near the end of his life at the start of the first century CE

Augustus describes the completion of his duties and his honours granted by the senate at some length, while stressing that his new position makes him no more than an equal to other magistrates.

Plots and themes

The Aeneid - Virgil

Plot Summary

After having been tricked by the Greeks with the brilliant design of the Trojan Horse, Aeneas and his friends set out on the Mediterranean Sea to Italy in an effort to found Rome. Unfortunately Aeneas ended up in Carthage instead of Italy and met the Queen of Carthage, Dido. Dido falls in love with Aeneas, so when Aeneas left Carthage, she killed herself. Aeneas continues to Italy and visits the Underworld where he will foresee the future of all heroes in Rome. In the end of the story, Turnus, a local suitor, is killed by Aeneas which led to the victory of the Trojans.


The Aenid is a story of fate, power, and love. Throughout the poem we are constantly reminded that the fate of the Trojans was to found a city in Rome, and in the end they did. The power that the Trojans had was tremendous, and not just in warfare. Love is seen as powerful and unpredictable, which is obvious when Dido commits suicide out of love for Aeneas. The Aeneid has a continuous list of themes that make the story, but few are as important as these three.

Odes - Horace

Plot Summary

We will venture into Horace's most famous poems from the Odes. Poem 10 from Book 1 states " Rectius vives, Licini, neque altum" – The Golden Mean – "The moderate life is the perfect life." "Pyrrha" is a poem about an inexperienced young girl caught in the hands of an unpredictable old woman. "Carpe Diem", quite obviously, is the poem in which the renown phrase "Carpe Diem" was coined. This poem is very similar to "Socrate", a story about Horace giving advice to a young boy named Thaliarchus, and telling him to make the most out of his limited existence. These are just a few of the numerous amount of poems that Horace wrote in just the Odes alone. To this day Horace has changed the face of lyric poetry and has shaped some of the most profound names in poetry. Horace's influence can be directly seen in many of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson's work, and even the work of Friedrich Nietzche. Horace will be forever remembered for his ability to craft powerful moral lessons in the form of a short, few-stanza, poem.


Rich in complexity, Horace's poems are very concise in size, but contain intricate themes. This combination of brevity of size and breadth of meaning is called "calida iunctura" or "skillful/artful joining." Although the Odes touch upon a wide range of topics, they all have a common theme. That theme is a moral or ethical lesson. Essentially each Ode is a maxim itself. Each book contains a wide selection of pithy aphorisms, most notably "Carpe Diem" (but we will get to that later). Book 1 contains 38 poems, Book 2 – 20, Book 3 – 30, and Book 4 – 15, for a total of 103 complete poems.

Midas/Daedalus and Icarus - Ovid

Plot Summary

The Metamorphoses are meant to be a history of the creation of the earth from the to the death of Julius Caesar utilizing 250 Greek and Roman mythology mixed with historical fact. It is meant to portray how the Romans viewed the history and past. He himself sums up the poem in the opening lines, “My intention is to tell of bodies changed. To different forms; the gods, who made the changes, Will help me — or I hope so — with a poem. That runs from the world’s beginning to our own days.”


The stories of the Metamorphoses are meant to show a change (or metamorphosis) in the characters. Almost the entirety of the poem changes throughout the poem. Love is the other major theme and teaching point. He speaks of the power and influence that love asserts upon everyone. Hubris was also a major theme. The poems criticize and show the many weaknesses of uncontrollable hubris.

Additional Questions

Epic Poetry

There are several purposes of epic poetry and ancient literature, with many of its themes and messages being similar to ones we convey today. At its core, epic poetry focuses on historical events, but it’s usually linked with fictional creatures, events, heroes and divine providence from the polytheistic world to convey moral flaws about war, travel, friendship, bravery, family and everyday life. For example, although Odysseus/Ulysses in the Illiad is a cunning warrior and brilliant commander, in the Odyssey we see his flaws and internal conflict with his own arrogance, unfaithfulness, and stubbornness.

Epic poetry differs from modern literature because Epic Poetry was largely based on moral tradition, it’s quite long, and is normally told from the perspective of a narrator who isn't apart of the story, versus Modern Literature which is much shorter, more focused on performing (more of showing than telling), it's usually written in dramatic monologues, and deals with different areas of plot including a climax, rising action and a resolution.

Chapter 72

After the brilliant works of Homer, The Illiad and The Odyssey, were written, future authors and poets had an extremely difficult time matching these pivotal pieces of literature. Vergil, a brilliant writer, met this bar that was set so high. After a long era of failed success stories in regards to pieces of literature, after the publication of Homer’s works, Vergil came out with The Aeneid, which came to fame for being, in a way, similar to Homer’s epic works. The Aeneid followed the story of a man named Aeneas who was on a journey to found the city of Rome. In the Odyssey, Odysseus was on a massive journey to reach his homeland while Aeneas, also enduring a massive journey, wished to found a new city. Both of these were based around the ambitions of two similar men. How Vergil subtly takes bits and pieces from Homer’s works is what makes him the genius he is known as today.

Tasteful Meme

Chapter 73

Quintus Horatius Flaccus was born on the December 8th, 65 B.C. in Venusia, Italy. The area in which he grew up was one filled with much lingual diversity, containing many dialects, such as Italian, Greek, and Latin. This exposure at a young age began his literary interest. His father, a former slave, worked very hard as a "coactor", a banker of sorts, and invested many funds into his son's education. After his father's death, he left Italy to pursue his education career. Horace attended the Academy, Plato's school, in Athens. It was there he was exposed to Stoic and Epicurean thinking, and also ancient Greek lyric poetry. Young and impressionable, him and many others were convinced to enlist for military services by Marcus Junius Brutus himself. After serving as tribunus militum for a number of years, Brutus' forces were crushed at the Battle of Philippi. Horace was granted amnesty to return to Italy, but upon entering he realized that his childhood home (his source of wealth) had been forfeiting to the state. The poverty he was living in drove him to try his hand at poetry. This is when he began writing his "Satires", which were compilations of satyrical poems written in didactic hexameter. Acclaim from those poems drove him to complete his next collection, "Epodes", which were known as "blame poetry" (the shaming of the reader into following his morals). These two works skyrocketed him popularity, and he was able to come in contact with Vergil the poet. Climbing up the ladder he was able to meet the ever wealthy Gaius Cilnius Maecenas. He traveled extensively with these men and he even was able to befriend Augustus himself. Although not stated directly (to avoid political topics in his early poems), it is believed that Horace was at the Battle of Actium. Horace was given the gift of a magnificent Sabine farm by Maecenas, and it was here where he could settle down and focus on his poetry. It is at this estate where he wrote "Odes" (we will get to later), "Epistles" (satirical letters), "Ars Poetica" (a manual on poetry), and "Carmen Saeculare" (religious hymns). His later life was characterized by poetry and extreme licentiousness. He died soon after his friend Maecenas at the age of 56 on his farm.

Horace's Odes are a collection of four complete books of poetry. Ranging over a large sphere of complexity and size, they are very versatile and touch upon many subject topics. They were written to help guide the people of Italy morally, and logically, but a secondary purpose was in order to please Augustus (as he was very fond of Horace's work and consistently requested more). They touch upon topics of friendship, wine, religion, morality, patriotism, and most notably, life and love. Many of his poems were addressed to Augustus and a specific problem he was facing at the time. The horatian ode format is a typical lyric poem with obvious influences from Pindar, Sappho, Alcaeus, Epicureas, and the many Stoics.

Chapter 74

Ovid was writing in a time in which literature was flourishing, and also political unrest was arising. During a time of contention between two factions as to who Augustus’ successor would be, Ovid gave his support to the faction not supported by Augustus. This posed a threat to Augustus and his preferred transfer of power. Additionally, he wrote a work, the Ars Amatoria, which was seen as undermining the social reform that Augustus was attempting to instill on the Roman society. These factors, and many more some suspect, led to Ovid’s banishment from Rome in 8 AD, in which his works were also banned from Roman libraries.

Bonus Tasteful Meme



Created with images by isawnyu - "The Ara Pacis (II)"

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